[SOVIET CLUBS AND THEATRICAL STAGES] Oborudovaniye klubnoy stseny [i.e. Stage Production in a Club]
Moscow: Goslitizdat, 1935. Item #1573
153,  pp.: ill. 21.3x15.2 cm. In original publisher’s cloth binding with gilt lettering and ornaments on the front board and the spine. Very light soiling of the binding. Otherwise near fine.
Scarce. First edition. Design by the Soviet graphic artist and book illustrator of German origin Leo Epple (1900-1980). In the 1920s, the artist attended the studio of Dmitry Kardovsky and collaborated with a number of Soviet periodicals. In 1941, Leo was repressed on ethnic grounds and exiled to the Karaganda region. In 1952, after residing in a number of cities, Epple received permission to move to Sverdlovsk without the right to leave. During his career, the artist illustrated works of classic and modern writers, including the tales of A. Pushkin, C. Perrot, Russian folk tales, N. Leskov, D. Mamin -Sibiryak, K. Chukovsky, etc.
This is an interesting book dedicated to the production and furnishing of theatrical stages in Soviet clubs. The publication was compiled by Nikolay Ryazhskiy in 1935 and was reissued as a second edition in 1939. The book, which consists of fifteen sections, rests upon the notion of modernizing past experience of theatrical stage design and applying it to contemporary requirements of stage art. The edition underlines the importance of the correlation between Soviet clubs and socialist realism and encourages its readers to reflect Communist ideology on stage. In the book, the author concentrates on such topics as the layout of a club and theatre building, stage allocated in a low room, folding stage, mobile stage, the whitewashing of a room, painting of an iron stove, etc. Ryazhskiy sets off lighting of a stage as a crucial element of theatre production and provides both professional and amateur means of lighting at a stage, including the use of spotlights, kerosene lamps, rotating lamps for the audience, etc. The edition includes numerous black and white illustrations showing the proportions of the stage, section of the stage, prompter booth, tube, and other numerous components of the theatrical stage in a club.
The author dedicated the book to Vsevolod Meyerhold (1874- 1940), a noted Soviet theatre director, actor and theatrical producer, one of the reformers of the Soviet stage. A few years after this book was published, Meyerhold became the victim of Soviet repressions. He was sentenced to death by firing squad on 1 February 1940 and executed the next day.